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United 210 - Aug 7th: Flight attendant blames pilots for delayed flight over PA

United 210 - Aug 7th: Flight attendant blames pilots for delayed flight over PA

Old Aug 9, 17, 7:46 am
  #1  
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United 210 - Aug 7th: Flight attendant blames pilots for delayed flight over PA

So this happened Aug 7th and I'm still in disbelief. Flight 210 from New Orleans to Washington.


The short story is that we were supposed to leave at 12:40pm and were delayed until 5pm. We board the plane and get settled. We're waiting for like 20 mins and the pilot comes on over the PA and says they have a legal issue due to time. Not sure if they can take off. 10 mins go by and he comes back on and says they can't leave and are looking for another crew. They don't find one and inform us the flight is cancelled


At this point the flight attendant comes on the PA and apologizes. She goes on to say something to the effect of "I want to be honest with everyone here. The reason for the delay is because the pilots were dragging their feet, taking their time walking to the gate so that the flight would be delayed on purpose. Your flight crew did everything possible to make this flight happen. So everyone, make sure you give a special thank you to the pilot on the way out of the plane". The entire plane collectively loses their .... but everyone leaves without much of a scene.


I spoke with the ticketing agent when we were getting rebooked and told him the story. He said that the pilots arrived at 4:30 and needed to leave by 5:30 to stay within the time, our flight was supposed to leave at 5:00. He agreed with the flight attendant and said they see it sometimes because either the pilots want to stay over in the city they are in or want to "stick it to the company".


United offered me $150 credit in a generic email claiming that weather was the reason for the delayed. They put me and my wife up in a hotel and booked us on a direct flight the next day on Air Canada. We arrived home 24 hours after we were originally scheduled.


I'm blown away by the whole situation. Posted it on reddit and thought I'd share on here as well.
Roboholic is offline  
Old Aug 9, 17, 8:08 am
  #2  
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Playing games with work rules? Never!?

I think the only astonishing thing is more directly the cabin crew called it out. Infighting between those work groups tends to be much more passive aggressive/behind the scenes.

Sorry for your bad luck on this one. Hope your re-booked flight(s) went smoothly.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 8:23 am
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I had this happen to me on Delta twice within 3 months a few years back. And one of the times, the FA called them out, just as you laid out. I'm not surprised by anything anymore I guess.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 8:34 am
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Yikes! I was shocked to find that this was a mainline UA flight.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 8:58 am
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Yeah, the shocker here is that the FA called out the pilots. Messing with work rules happens. Fortunately, not that often.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 9:11 am
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Wonderful. I'm on UA 210 out of MSY this Saturday with a connection at IAD.

Here's hoping there's not a repeat of this situation concerning my flight.

And BTW, welcome to FlyerTalk, Roboholic.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
Yeah, the shocker here is that the FA called out the pilots.
Thinking maybe the FA had plans in the arrival city that got torched.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 9:24 am
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Guessing the flight attendant wanted to get to next city for some reason or it costing her money.

I'm I correct flight attendants only on clock when aircraft door closed?
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Old Aug 9, 17, 9:30 am
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This was SOP during the "Summer from Hell"!
Almost every flight I was on was delayed and/or cancelled due to pilots screwing around. Once on MSP - ORD the pilots stood in front of their hotel for nearly 2 hours (and I'll never forget his name) because the van forgot to pick them up, and they didn't call or take a cab; resulting everyone mis-connecting, many to international destinations. I'm not aware of any work slow downs right now, and this shouldn't have affected the OP, but on the flight I mentioned the f/a's were extremely upset and discussed it with people in the f/c section, writing down the captains name on napkins and handing them out. A letter from me to the head pilot dude resulted in a double-talk reply. Not sayin' ALL pilots are in it only for themselves, but I can't recall ever seeing one of them hot footing it thru the terminal, and shifting out of first gear, and into second, especially when they're about to "Time Out?"

... and for those of you that are concerned about why the f/a wanted to get goin' --- How's bout the fact that perhaps she cared about the passengers more than the pilots did?
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Old Aug 9, 17, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by bhunt View Post
Guessing the flight attendant wanted to get to next city for some reason or it costing her money.

I'm I correct flight attendants only on clock when aircraft door closed?
The door was closed and we were away from the gate.

I'm don't fly often but it would seem like the would fire someone over this if it's true?

This must have cost United $20k+ With hotels and food vouchers and giving passengers all a $150 credit.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by Roboholic View Post
The door was closed and we were away from the gate.

I'm don't fly often but it would seem like the would fire someone over this if it's true?

This must have cost United $20k+ With hotels and food vouchers and giving passengers all a $150 credit.
Respectfully. You don't know the whole story about the pilot's schedule that day and quite frankly neither do the F/A's. Pilots and F/A's switch crews almost every leg domestically. From experience, judging the situation based on such limited information usually doesn't reflect reality.

Additionally for a pilot to time out around noon is extremely rare. Only situation I can think of where that would occur could be a crew extension after flying an all night redeye from South America or the west coast.

Last edited by clubord; Aug 9, 17 at 10:21 am
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Old Aug 9, 17, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by clubord View Post
Respectfully. You don't know the whole story about the pilot's schedule that day and quite frankly neither do the F/A's. Pilots and F/A's switch crews almost every leg domestically. From experience, judging the situation based on such limited information usually doesn't reflect reality.
I realize that and wrote "if it's true". The ticketing agent confirmed the FA's story for whatever that's worth.

My original flight was 12:40. This happened at around 5:30.

Last edited by Roboholic; Aug 9, 17 at 10:27 am Reason: Op changed response
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Old Aug 9, 17, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by Two Bee View Post
This was SOP during the "Summer from Hell"!
Almost every flight I was on was delayed and/or cancelled due to pilots screwing around.
The SFH was epic for this kind of thing. Pilots laughing while their pax missed weddings and funerals. Flights getting cancelled for inop cabin reading lights, or because the rubbish can liner on the flight deck wasn't regulation. Of course the pilots weren't the only employee group wreaking havoc in 2000. I had a couple of evenings trying to connect at ORD I can only describe as crazed.

The chaos virus may go dormant for awhile within UA employees, but IMO it is ineradicable. There is always potential for a new pandemic.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by Roboholic View Post
I realize that and wrote "if it's true". The ticketing agent confirmed the FA's story for whatever that's worth.

My original flight was 12:40. This happened at around 5:30.
Totally apologize, missed the 5 hour delay in the OP. Sorry about your experience. I've been on both sides of crew timeout issues like that, it's not fun.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
...
The chaos virus may go dormant for awhile within UA employees, but IMO it is ineradicable. There is always potential for a new pandemic.
This could be a synopsis of the message from Camus' book The Plague. It applies to many aspects of human endeavor.
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