Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > US Airways | Dividend Miles (Pre-Consolidation with American Airlines)
Reload this Page >

PHL-SFO nonstop made stop in Kansas City for refueling, then let an employee off

PHL-SFO nonstop made stop in Kansas City for refueling, then let an employee off

 
Old Dec 29, 14, 4:46 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 10
PHL-SFO nonstop made stop in Kansas City for refueling, then let an employee off

Sorry if I posted this in the wrong place, I wasn't sure where it should go. I am rather annoyed at what happened last night on USAIR 719 from PHL nonstop to SFO. Just minutes before we boarded they announced that they would "need to stop in Kansas City for refueling because there was greater than 150 knots of headwind and a A320 in those circumstances only has 9 minutes of extra fuel to get to SFO".

That elicited grumbles, but people really got irritated when we arrived at KC a deadheading pilot pushed his way to the back of the plane to get his suitcase telling us he's "getting off", forced us to wait for a jetbridge to connect to the airplane and then he left! The pilot on the intercom, unaware that we had seen this exiting pilot announced that we had to wait for a jetbridge as a requirement for them to refuel the plane! We were on the ground for an hour and got to SFO two hours and twenty minutes late.

Anyone know if this was legitimate and have any idea if I can get some concessions out of them for this? It was an expensive holiday ticket and I am pretty peeved.

http://flights.usairways.com/FlightS...ate=2014-12-28

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A...300Z/KPHL/KSFO

Last edited by sfchris2013; Dec 29, 14 at 5:27 pm
sfchris2013 is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 6:09 pm
  #2  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,670
Welcome to FlyerTalk. What's upsetting, the deadheading pilot requesting disembarkation, or the delay due to required refueling? Headwinds fall under "force majeure", so you won't get anything for that. Depending on the deadheading pilot's reason for disembarking, you might
JDiver is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 7:35 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Welcome to FlyerTalk. What's upsetting, the deadheading pilot requesting disembarkation, or the delay due to required refueling? Headwinds fall under "force majeure", so you won't get anything for that. Depending on the deadheading pilot's reason for disembarking, you might
I guess I am wondering if the "refueling" was really needed or if it was just an excuse.

I made a joke before we arrived to KC that "we will see if this is legit by watching if anyone gets off"... and lo and behold.... I mean how does a deadheader even know to get on this plane? KC was not even a listed destination!

I didn't appreciate what looked like a weak excuse to drop a buddy off.
sfchris2013 is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 7:43 pm
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 89,722
Airline insiders might be able to see planned fuel stops and stops to change crew or know where to find this information. They might also know who to ask or even be able to guess which flights are likely to need to stop for fuel from their knowledge of aircraft performance and being able to see loads.

If the pilot really was deadheading and not just commuting to/from work as a nonrev, the company would have had an interest or obligation to help.

It wouldn't have been a case of the pilot just deciding on his/her own to make the stop if it wasn't necessary, but the company might have decided that it needed the pilot in MCI to operate some other flight, for instance if a pilot there had become ill.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 8:29 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 22,064
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

Originally Posted by sfchris2013
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Welcome to FlyerTalk. What's upsetting, the deadheading pilot requesting disembarkation, or the delay due to required refueling? Headwinds fall under "force majeure", so you won't get anything for that. Depending on the deadheading pilot's reason for disembarking, you might
I guess I am wondering if the "refueling" was really needed or if it was just an excuse.

I made a joke before we arrived to KC that "we will see if this is legit by watching if anyone gets off"... and lo and behold.... I mean how does a deadheader even know to get on this plane? KC was not even a listed destination!

I didn't appreciate what looked like a weak excuse to drop a buddy off.
A refueling stop is an expensive proposition for an airline. While just about anything is possible in this world, I would find it surprising if an airline made an unnecessary refueling stop just to let an employee off.

And while I don't know what availability was like on other US flights that day, US certainly has flights from PHL that get a lot closer to MCI (or wherever the dead-header was ultimately headed) than SFO.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 8:29 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Lifetime Plat, SPG Plat, AMEX Plat, Hertz PC, Travels too Much Platinum
Posts: 3,290
Well, that's a new one.

This is all the flight info on ExpertFlyer says about yesterday's US719:

0719/28DEC
P FCO/OUT 1132A E00:03 *N271AY*
P FCO/OFF 1151A *N271AY*
P PHL/ON 332P *N271AY*
P PHL/IN 335P E00:10 *N271AY*
P PHL/OUT 603P L00:03 *N655AW*
P PHL/OFF 637P *N655AW*
P MCI/ON 835P *N655AW*
P MCI/IN 839P *N655AW*
P MCI/OUT 933P *N655AW*
P MCI/OFF 946P *N655AW*☨
P MCI/OFF 946P *N655AW*
P SFO/ON 1125P *N650AW*
P SFO/IN 1136P L02:10 *N650AW*

SKED FCO ORIG 1135A GTD G5 SHIP 271
PHL 345P 600P GTA A25 GTD C20 SHIP 655
SFO 926P TERM GTA 23
So it was on the ground for 1 hour, 11 minutes in Kansas City. This flight also diverted to MCI today with a different A320 (N650AW), presumably for the same reason, but was on the ground for 59 minutes:

0719/29DEC
P FCO/OUT 1131A E00:04 *N272AY*
P FCO/OFF 1153A *N272AY*
P PHL/ON 307P *N272AY*
P PHL/IN 310P E00:35 *N272AY*
P PHL/OUT 600P ONTIME *N650AW*
P PHL/OFF 613P *N650AW*
P MCI/ON 804P *N650AW*
P MCI/IN 811P *N650AW*
P MCI/OUT 850P *N650AW*
P MCI/OFF 903P *N650AW*☨
P MCI/OFF 903P *N650AW*
P SFO/ETA 1104P L01:38 *N650AW*

SKED FCO ORIG 1135A GTD G5 SHIP 272
PHL 345P 600P GTA A26 GTD C30 SHIP 650
SFO 926P TERM GTA 26
They are retiring many of the older A320s that occasionally have winter headwind issues and replacing them with newer A321s that very rarely have to make such stops.
phlwookie is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 8:41 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: ONT
Programs: AA Gold, WN A-, UA S, HH ♦, IHG Spire, Hertz Prez O, TSA Disparager
Posts: 2,159
I've been on WN and DL flights that needed fuel stops. Each time pax disembarked for whatever reason so I don't think there's a conspiracy in your case.
Michael El is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 10:23 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 167
A cabin door must be open and available as an exit (jet bridge or air stairs) during refueling.

If the airline really needed to deadhead a pilot to Kansas there were much cheaper ways of doing it than scheduling an unnecessary stop.
able is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 10:32 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Programs: MR/SPG LT Titanium, AA LT PLT, UA SLV, Avis PreferredPlus
Posts: 26,763
It looks like 562, also PHL-SFO A320, stopped yesterday in Omaha, and today took 35 minutes longer than recent flights. UA1750 yesterday, a 737-900, took 30-45 minutes longer than recent flights.

I don't know if old data is found anywhere, but tomorrow's jet stream forecast shows 160mph nearly due east. Flights that didn't stop over the last 2 days have been routed abnormally far north.

I don't think a needed refueling is implausible.

EDIT: WU's time-lapse shows 180-220mph Sunday.

EDIT2: You can find anything with Google... Build your own jet stream analysis

Last edited by CPRich; Dec 29, 14 at 10:48 pm
CPRich is offline  
Old Dec 30, 14, 3:03 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,806
Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)



A refueling stop is an expensive proposition for an airline. While just about anything is possible in this world, I would find it surprising if an airline made an unnecessary refueling stop just to let an employee off.
Agreed. Almost no chance US planned a fuel stop to let off a pilot.



Originally Posted by able View Post
A cabin door must be open and available as an exit (jet bridge or air stairs) during refueling.
I don't know the rules for sure, but that is my understanding, as well. They even tell people to take off their seat belt during refueling to expedite a potential exit.
will2288 is offline  
Old Dec 30, 14, 10:27 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Gold, WN A+ & CP, HH Diamond, Hyatt Platinum, National Executive Elite
Posts: 3,105
Originally Posted by sfchris2013 View Post
Anyone know if this was legitimate and have any idea if I can get some concessions out of them for this? It was an expensive holiday ticket and I am pretty peeved.
Mad that the airline didn't take a chance of running out of fuel and got you there safely?

Mad that the airline didn't make the delay longer by making everyone get off the plane while refueling in Kansas City?

Mad that the airline followed safety procedures and had the jet bridge connected and the door open while fueling?

Mad that the airline didn't slow the jetstream down so the refueling stop wouldn't be needed?

Mad that the pilot that got off didn't explain to you why he was getting off? By the way, how do you know he was deadheading?

I'm sure it was frustrating getting to your destination a couple hours late but it sounds like all of what you experienced was legit and handled correctly. (Other than it would have been nice if you were on an aircraft that had the fuel capacity and range so that you didn't have to make that stop even with the headwinds.)

As for the pilot that got off, you are just going to have to accept the fact that you are not likely to ever find out exactly how or why that came about. As others have noted, extremely unlikely that the airline used a fuel stop as an excuse to get a pilot to Kansas City. Other, cheaper ways to do that.
justhere is offline  
Old Dec 30, 14, 10:31 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: WFBF
Posts: 963
As someone whose home airport is MCI, I can tell you that transcons making fuel stops there is not at all uncommon. It's also a pretty easy diversion point for in-flight emergencies, and we get news stories about those every so often too.
ubernostrum is offline  
Old Dec 31, 14, 2:21 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Aluminum, WN B+
Posts: 929
A while back I was tracking a BOS-PHX A320 route that I had coming up and I would say that 30-40% of the flights made a fuel stop in MCI. So I wouldn't worry about that. You should see all the 747's that stop in ANC on their way across the Pacific, spend 20 min on the ground to refuel, then off again.

Now if you feel that the pilot getting off caused a significant delay above and beyond the time to refuel, I would let the airline know about that.
Lost is offline  
Old Dec 31, 14, 3:05 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 125
Originally Posted by justhere View Post
Mad that the airline didn't take a chance of running out of fuel and got you there safely?

Mad that the airline didn't make the delay longer by making everyone get off the plane while refueling in Kansas City?

Mad that the airline followed safety procedures and had the jet bridge connected and the door open while fueling?

Mad that the airline didn't slow the jetstream down so the refueling stop wouldn't be needed?

Mad that the pilot that got off didn't explain to you why he was getting off? By the way, how do you know he was deadheading?

I'm sure it was frustrating getting to your destination a couple hours late but it sounds like all of what you experienced was legit and handled correctly. (Other than it would have been nice if you were on an aircraft that had the fuel capacity and range so that you didn't have to make that stop even with the headwinds.)

As for the pilot that got off, you are just going to have to accept the fact that you are not likely to ever find out exactly how or why that came about. As others have noted, extremely unlikely that the airline used a fuel stop as an excuse to get a pilot to Kansas City. Other, cheaper ways to do that.
So, I guess the question is: should an airline be responsible for providing more than enough fuel to arrive at a destination safely in any weather condition?

And if the equipment cannot carry adequate fuel, should the airline be required to employ equipment that can routinely make it to the destination safely without making fuel stops?

I personally would prefer the answers to be "YES" to both questions, and would appreciate some small allowance due to inconvenience if the airline falls short. But alas, profit trumps all, and airline consolidation makes it difficult to have real choices, so we have to put up it. Luckily it doesn't happen too often.

Another proposed solution would be to retrofit all US metal with in-flight refueling capability...
phisher4 is offline  
Old Dec 31, 14, 6:51 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: CLT
Programs: AA-EXP, MR-PP
Posts: 3,441
Originally Posted by phisher4 View Post
So, I guess the question is: should an airline be responsible for providing more than enough fuel to arrive at a destination safely in any weather condition?

And if the equipment cannot carry adequate fuel, should the airline be required to employ equipment that can routinely make it to the destination safely without making fuel stops?

I personally would prefer the answers to be "YES" to both questions, and would appreciate some small allowance due to inconvenience if the airline falls short. But alas, profit trumps all, and airline consolidation makes it difficult to have real choices, so we have to put up it. Luckily it doesn't happen too often.

Another proposed solution would be to retrofit all US metal with in-flight refueling capability...
Then you need to put some research into equipment and only fly the airlines and schedules where such equipment is available. Refueling stops are nothing new in aviation and data is readily available.

Instead of putting onus on someone else, take the matters in your own hands and do prior research.
iztok is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: