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Flights leaving early with delayed connecting passengers should be penalized

Flights leaving early with delayed connecting passengers should be penalized

Old Jan 31, 18, 8:39 am
  #106  
 
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FWIW, United often holds the plane for late arriving bags and cargo. Heard that on many flights. Amazing that its ok to hold the plane for cargo, but not people...
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Old Jan 31, 18, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
FWIW, United often holds the plane for late arriving bags and cargo. Heard that on many flights. Amazing that its ok to hold the plane for cargo, but not people...
While I'm not 100% sure, I'd be willing to bet that cargo is much more profitable than 1-10 or even 50 passengers (unless they're all GS).
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Old Jan 31, 18, 9:15 am
  #108  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
I hate leaving past the departure time. Who wants to sit on a plane on the ground just waiting - not me. I start looking at my watch and find it annoying for whatever reason we haven't left.
Not sure you understand what D:0 means in practice. In many instances, it means they close the door, push back three feet (so they can say they've met D:0) and then sit there for half an hour. That's the fundamental flaw with using D:0 as a metric, it does not measure what actually matters to the passenger (on time arrival), and it's too easily manipulated by the airline.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 9:16 am
  #109  
 
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Back in the day, I can recall captains making announcements to the effect of "We're just waiting for (#) passengers who are coming off a late-arriving flight from (X)." When the passengers boarded, the cabin cheered. This was back when the skies were friendlier. These days, I simply never book the earliest connection option unless it's the only option, or I'm prepared to take the risk. I've run through ORD, IAH and EWR enough times when I've allowed 3+ hours to connect, and was very grateful that I hadn't taken the risk!
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Old Jan 31, 18, 9:50 am
  #110  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Simple. The customer doesn't care about D:0, at all. Barring some ridiculous scenario straight out of the movies -- "whoo, we departed; the corrupt foreign police can't touch us now" -- it matters to zero people on the plane whether or not they depart on time.

Now, A:0? That matters. And you can argue that D:0 impacts A:0 -- all other things being equal, the earlier you depart, the earlier you'll arrive. But sometimes other things aren't equal. In the OP's case, is it more customer friendly to get every passenger save one to SAN ten minutes ahead of schedule, or to get every passenger to SAN exactly on schedule? If UA were monitoring A:0 instead of D:0, they may be more willing to hold flights when there's no impact to A:0 than they are today.

Now, again, there are a lot of factors, and a 5 minute departure delay could easily turn into a 25 minute arrival delay, so I'm not arguing in favor of a blanket "always wait for nearby pax" rule. But it's plain to see that a focus on D:0 is not customer-centric; UA should focus on A:0 instead.
I care. I also often travel with a toddler. Guess what - every minute longer on the plane is another minute she’s got to be in a constrained space. If we can be there 5 minutes less, it can often mean a big difference. I think Fellow pax would also appreciate it if there is one less opportunity for a tantrum (to be fair, daughter is a pretty good traveler most of the time, but she has her flights).

Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
while you are getting a lot of "its the breaks" replies, In my 20+ years of extensive travel I've only seen one airline that does not make an effort to hold A/C, and that is UA post 3/2/12.
I’ve had a plane held for me before...yes, on UA. I’ve had other times where the dooor closes and flight goes on time, without me. Guess what, in my 20+ years of being an FF, the only carrier that has attempted to deny me boarding with a valid BP in hand at the gate is DL. All airlines are going to judge the factors differently, but sorry, to say UA is doesn’t hold flights sometimes is just not true L they certainly do. Your personal experience is not necessarily representative of everyone’s.

Originally Posted by Bear96 View Post
"Sometimes" UA will too.
Correct.

Originally Posted by chermorg View Post
I think many people do want departure and boarding to be on time. If I am told boarding begins at X and ends at Y, I don’t want to leave the United Club or the restaurant I’m sitting at to be at the gate at X just to be told we won’t be boarding until later. Furthermore, I don’t want to be boarded sitting on a plane for 30 minutes after the “departure time” - I’d rather be sitting in the terminal than on a plane. Especially if we’re holding D:0 for passengers with risky/tight connections for no reason - T+0 turns into T+5 and screws everything up. Maybe I’m the odd one out. But I definitely care more about D:0 than A:0 in most cases - A:0 can be affected by many things outside the airline’s control, but if they get the plane out at D:0 then it’s not their fault if ATC decides to make them hold for an hour at the destination - they did what they could to get A:0 (by getting D:0).


and t doesn’t necessarily turn into T+5. As mentioned, can be worse...you can lose a slot, weight and balance has to be re-run, etc. not to mention the flight inbound to the gate now has to wait, with 100 other pax potentially having connections, and some of them likely to start a thread about why they have to wait for a gate.

Originally Posted by Austin787 View Post
Not limited to United. I have misconnected in DFW several times when my flight to DFW was delayed and AA did not hold the connecting flight. This included one time I was flying in a group of 50 people and our plane to DFW was delayed and AA didn't hold our connecting flight which was the last of the day. So all 50 of us had to overnight in DFW.
yikes. Would think for 50 folks they would have some consideration, depending on how close it was. But yes, AA apparently makes its calculations, too.

Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Publishing the "plane starts moving" time makes some amount of sense -- it's the one goal everyone in the system shares and participates in (pax, GA, FA, Pilots, ground crew, ATC, etc.).

Publishing "last moment you can present yourself for boarding" also makes some amount of sense -- it's the promise the airline is making, "show up by this time and we will get you on the flight". Obviously from threads like this even frequently flyers who are 1K don't fully understand the T-15 rule, and I can guarantee you that most travelers don't. I know I've heard my share of irate passengers at the podium saying "but the plane is still here and it's before departure time", and I know you have too. I'm sure some people think it's T-15 is when you are requested to show up but they can't offload you until T-0. Even though airlines do a lot of work, publishing "boarding ends" times and a very clear CoC, signs at the gates, etc. It still causes confusion.

One reason it causes confusion is because different airlines do it differently. Southwest is T-10, United is T-15 (though at least one person on this thread thought it was T-10), Delta shuttle flights are T-5, int'l is T-30, some airlines are T-45....etc. It is not a customer-friendly solution to have to read a 60+ page CoC for every operating carrier in my itinerary and memorize their cut off times. Better just to publish the cutoff time -- the time that matters to the customer.

I think if airlines -- as a group -- started publishing cut-off time rather than release-parking-brake time, people would adapt. After all, people casually say "my flight takes off at 10:00am" but they don't complain when the flight actually takes off at 10:15 after boarding on-time.

Everyone here knows that the GA has to process standbys, pilots have to run paperwork, FAs have to do safety checks. Pointing that out doesn't add to the discussion. The pilot also has to taxi to the end of the runway -- but we're ok with that happening after the published departure time.

Imagine a system where the airline published takeoff time, and then said you have to present yourself at the gate on later than 65 minutes before takeoff. That would make no sense.
I understand your point. It would be a good one if it was relying on the CoC. However, UA now clearly marks the boarding ends time on BPs. IMost people should be able to read big printed info on BPs, especially 1Ks. Airlines having delayed inbounds aside for the moment, if there are 1Ks who can’t understand the big ‘boarding ends’ time on a BP and they are late, then honestly, I kind of don’t feel bad for them, especially since there are many on here who admit to staying in the lounge until the last possible moment.

of course, this is a bit OT for the ‘should UA hold flights past this time for late inbounds.

Originally Posted by TA View Post
I feel that this thread is not surfacing a lot of new information about how such decisions are made at this point, and is just collecting people's anecdotes / opinions on whether flights should be held <x> minutes or not (for repeating reasons). Signal to noise is dropping steadily.

Time to wrap up this thread?
only the people in airline ops can really answer this. We can guess at many of the factors. How much each factor impacts this is going to vary based on specific circumstances - likely things like how many pax, what are alternatives, is there a plane load of pax waiting for this gate. Who are going to be affected, etc.

Originally Posted by SportsTech View Post
I agree with the OP: passengers who misconnect because inbound flights are late deserve as much consideration as the airline can possibly offer. Most, if not all, of us on this board have been screwed by a GA/FA combo that closed a gate long before pushback actually happens - and, as LarryJ so helpfully reminds us, D:00 is only an internal metric, it's arrival time that counts for FAA on-time reports.The fact that we've all experienced it doesn't make it right. I say, if the plane hasn't left the gate, give the pilot the option of accommodating the passenger. He's the only one who actually knows, at that point, whether it will jeopardize a timely arrival.

I am afraid, however, that in Unitedworld today, no one is giving employees permission to make passenger-friendly judgment calls.
As much consideration as they can offer is subjective. How much consideration should be given to an single late passenger, for example, compared to the 20, 30 or 40 pax who have connections on the other end that could be at risk.l (or those on the other aircraft waiting to deplane at the gate srtill being occupied by the one being held).

Originally Posted by tarheelnj View Post
There are other factors beyond an on-time arrival that connecting passengers should consider. Like when there's no one to drive the jetway. Or your flight is the one where they're training a new jetway driver and it takes multiple attempts. Or (for gate checked bags) it takes a significantly long time for the bags to come up. Or (in the case of EWR connections between Terminals A & C) the bus driver wants to wait for the bus to fill up before departing even when you say you have a tight connection.
I make sure to have at least an hour, 2 for EWR. Everyone else can make their own judgements on what is appropriate. Let’s not forget, MCT is what the airline is willing to book you on and take responsibility for, not what would be sensible for all pax.

Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
FWIW, United often holds the plane for late arriving bags and cargo. Heard that on many flights. Amazing that its ok to hold the plane for cargo, but not people...
Is this true? I’ve known UA to move bags pretty quickly..I’ve been on late inbounds where I’ve had to run, and it leaves on time and my bags have made it. Are we sure they are holding for ‘late cargo’ or just waiting until too late to load cargo/bags already there. I’ve definitley seen that happen before.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 31, 18 at 11:14 am Reason: discuss the issue, not the poster(s)
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Old Jan 31, 18, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post

Is this true? Iíve known UA to move bags pretty quickly..Iíve been on late inbounds where Iíve had to run, and it leaves on time and my bags have made it. Are we sure they are holding for Ďlate cargoí or just waiting until too late to load cargo/bags already there. Iíve definitley seen that happen before.
All I know is what I've experienced. Boarding is completed, with the door closed, but I'm staring out the right side of the airplane with the cargo door still open. Pilot chimes in and says we will be delayed a few minutes to finish loading. No big deal IMO. Pushback a few minutes late, but I'm fine with it.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
I care. I also often travel with a toddler. Guess what - every minute longer on the plane is another minute sheís got to be in a constrained space. If we can be there 5 minutes less, it can often mean a big difference. I think Fellow pax would also appreciate it if there is one less opportunity for a tantrum (to be fair, daughter is a pretty good traveler most of the time, but she has her flights).
I would be delighted to sit next to a screaming toddler the entire flight if it means I get there today rather than having to book an airport hotel at my expense and arrive the next day.

Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
It isn't mean. I bought a ticket with an expectation it would leave on time. I focus less on arrival time. I want to leave on time as the airport taxiway might be congested and waiting puts more planes ahead us - maybe the person who pushes back the plane is no longer available - a plane comes behind us and we can't move because we waited - we may hit headwinds slowing us down - may have to fly around storms - I just don't feel like sitting there doing nothing. Lets get that plane in the air. I don't have an expectation of special treatment of a plane waiting for me. How long is too long to wait and inconvenience the people already on the plane ready to go. Is it 5 minutes - 10 minutes - 30 minutes if they think they can get you there on time? When is enough - enough.
You say that you don't have an expectation of special treatment, yet that is exactly what you want. You bought a ticket on a common carrier, not a charter flight. Because you're starting your trip at that airport and thus have no problem arriving at the gate in time to board, that's all that matters. You're on the plane, so let's just go right now. To hell with connecting passengers from a late flight who are running for the plane!
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 31, 18 at 7:50 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jan 31, 18, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
You say that you don't have an expectation of special treatment, yet that is exactly what you want. You bought a ticket on a common carrier, not a charter flight. Because you're starting your trip at that airport and thus have no problem arriving at the gate in time to board, that's all that matters. You're on the plane, so let's just go right now. To hell with connecting passengers from a late flight who are running for the plane!
Again, youíre oblivious to anything else that is going on. What if you were on a plane that was late and have a (now) tight connection. Your plane is waiting on a gate. You and 10 other passengers might miss your connections because the plane occupying the gate is waiting for one connecting passenger. Is everything supposed to shut down for one passenger? Or do you try not to cascade a whole series of delays and missed connections? Iím glad qualified people are trying to make decisions that keep the bulk of the flights and connecting passengers in sync.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
while you are getting a lot of "its the breaks" replies, In my 20+ years of extensive travel I've only seen one airline that does not make an effort to hold A/C, and that is UA post 3/2/12. The old pmUA would hold A/C, particularly if it was the last flight of the day, when a passenger with status (not silver, but I had it often as a GS/1K) or a premium passenger with zone making the call. Only issue I ran into was at DEN, and zone there was known -so the GS folks there said - to be an issue. I've not had the kind of issues I had on UA post 3/2/12 with dalays, but I have had DL hold planes by a few minutes, and certainly have not had one leave EARLY. Maybe American does it.

I think the bigger point is that as usual UA has engaged in what is barely first order thinking. They realised OT was an issue, so incentivized staff to get planes out early. Of course this involves planes leaving early, and then getting in early, perhaps to no gate, along with second order impacts of POed passengers when the arriving delay is UA's fault. I don't think UA's analysis ever got to the impact of having elites/premium passengers be delayed due to UA's fault, and show up just in time, only to find the door closed.
Back to this post. You've either been incredibly fortunate in those 20+ years flying, or are not telling the whole truth of not seeing any carrier besides the modern UA not make that effort. In my much more limited flying experience, I have seen flights not held on every airline I've seen operate. I've been left behind by some of them. It's not hard to see it happen either. You can watch it while killing time at a hub airport.

As a side note, I know DL's goal for D:0 is even higher than what UA has been running lately. I don't know if DL is making that goal as they don't report some important stats such as that one, but I know they have a high goal. And yes, achieving that goal ultimately means not holding flights. And my experiences with them back that up. I've been a victim of an egregious example of their D:0 pressure. Not surprisingly that was at ATL. Criticizing UA for doing the exact same thing is very rich.

Last edited by minnyfly; Feb 1, 18 at 7:08 pm
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Old Jan 31, 18, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
You say that you don't have an expectation of special treatment, yet that is exactly what you want. You bought a ticket on a common carrier, not a charter flight. Because you're starting your trip at that airport and thus have no problem arriving at the gate in time to board, that's all that matters. You're on the plane, so let's just go right now. To hell with connecting passengers from a late flight who are running for the plane!
I didn't say that above - not even remotely so. I said, I have an expectation of leaving at the departure time - really leaving, not pushing back 3 feet (which I haven't experienced). I didn't say, I'm on the plane, lets leave right now. If departure is 1:00pm, I want to leave at 1:00pm - no earlier (although a bonus) or later (except safety reasons)
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Old Jan 31, 18, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by minnyfly View Post
Back to this post. Either you've been incredibly fortunate in those 20+ years flying of not seeing any carrier without that effort besides the modern UA, or you're not telling the whole truth. In my much more limited flying experience, I have seen flights not held on every airline I've seen operate. I've been left behind by some of them. It's not hard to see it happen either. You can watch it while killing time at a hub airport.
Even in the last few years I've seen UA re-open the door multiple times. On one flight (I don't recall exactly, probably IAD-LAX) they reopened three times - twice for late connecting pax, once (the last one) to hand in the passport of someone who had dropped it between security and boarding. It probably depends a lot on the time of day, demand for gates, GA, and crew.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 3:47 pm
  #117  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
It isn't mean. I bought a ticket with an expectation it would leave on time. I focus less on arrival time. I want to leave on time as the airport taxiway might be congested and waiting puts more planes ahead us - maybe the person who pushes back the plane is no longer available - a plane comes behind us and we can't move because we waited - we may hit headwinds slowing us down - may have to fly around storms - I just don't feel like sitting there doing nothing. Lets get that plane in the air. I don't have an expectation of special treatment of a plane waiting for me. How long is too long to wait and inconvenience the people already on the plane ready to go. Is it 5 minutes - 10 minutes - 30 minutes if they think they can get you there on time? When is enough - enough.
This is exactly the reason I appreciate a focus on D:0 and would rather misconnect than inconvenience others. You simply cannot have a decent A:0 (or A:14) if your D:0 is 20% and your D:15 is 40%. Leaving on time will always be the start to a good A:0/A:14 and D:0 is the only thing that is fully within the airline's control - the airline controls whether the plane is ready to push back from the gate or not.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post


Again, youíre oblivious to anything else that is going on. What if you were on a plane that was late and have a (now) tight connection. Your plane is waiting on a gate. You and 10 other passengers might miss your connections because the plane occupying the gate is waiting for one connecting passenger. Is everything supposed to shut down for one passenger? Or do you try not to cascade a whole series of delays and missed connections? Iím glad qualified people are trying to make decisions that keep the bulk of the flights and connecting passengers in sync.
Your example makes no sense. If your connection is now tight, that means your flight is arriving late. If there is another plane parked at that gate, it means that flight is even more late than yours. This cannot be an on-time flight that is going to close the doors two minutes later than usual (which is plenty early) for a late connecting passenger. An already late flight is going to leave ASAP and no one is arguing against that. We are discussing flights that can easily arrive on time yet UA refuses to hold the door for people. It's rude!
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Old Jan 31, 18, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
Your example makes no sense. If your connection is now tight, that means your flight is arriving late. If there is another plane parked at that gate, it means that flight is even more late than yours. This cannot be an on-time flight that is going to close the doors two minutes later than usual (which is plenty early) for a late connecting passenger. An already late flight is going to leave ASAP and no one is arguing against that. We are discussing flights that can easily arrive on time yet UA refuses to hold the door for people. It's rude!
It's not rude, it's enforcement of the rules. It's something that passengers have long needed. It's a shame other carriers aren't as dogmatic about adhering to the CoC.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by SportsTech View Post
as LarryJ so helpfully reminds us, D:00 is only an internal metric, it's arrival time that counts for FAA on-time reports.
If that's what I said (I didn't go back and look), it's not what I meant.

D:00 is used internally but it isn't only an internal metric. It is used internally because that is the only thing that the people working at the airplane/gate, such as the rampers, fuelers, caterers, cleaners, mechanics, zone controllers, gate agents, etc., can control. They have no control over A:00/A:14 other than making sure that they've done their job in time for a D:00 departure.

Airlines are required to report multiple data to the Department of Transportation (DOT), not the FAA, including D:00, A:00, and A:14. The data is available on the DOT web site. The most commonly PUBLISHED on-time metric is A:14 and that is the metric that is required to be published as historical data for each flight displayed in the reservation systems.

Us pilots and the dispatchers have an important role in achieving D:00 but we also work to achieve A:00/A:14 after the flight departs. We use dynamic flight management to adjust cruise speed, routes, and altitudes to meet the A:00/A:14 goals. This is accomplished both during the flight planning, using the projected departure time, and enroute as the flight progresses.

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Not sure you understand what D:0 means in practice. In many instances, it means they close the door, push back three feet (so they can say they've met D:0) and then sit there for half an hour.
There is no procedure to close up and push a few feet to get a D:00. In fact, we are prohibited from releasing the brakes until everything is closed and a pushback clearance is received. We can't push at all unless all of the ground services are complete (fuel, baggage loaded, doors closed, etc.). The short pushback is when we're cleared to push after conflicting traffic. We give that information to the tug driver then it's up to him to manage the pushback. Pushing back a few feet doesn't help him. The brake release time is what he's judged on and that occurs when we're ready (above and below the wing) and we've received pushback clearance--even if that clearance requires us to wait for other traffic (as it often does).

I mentioned earlier in this thread that new IT systems are being deployed to collect and display the diverse data that is needed to make better hold/go decision when there are late bags or passengers. Making as many passengers and bags connect as possible is a big priority and it is another metric that is monitored internally. It is happening behind the scenes in the Station Operations Control (SOC) where even us front-line employees (pilots, F/As, and gate agents) don't see it. Another IT initiative is just going into testing that will electronically connect the different work groups who are working on the same departing flight. I haven't seen it yet but it sounds like it will be helpful in these situations in the future.
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