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WS won't wait - even for 18 connecting passengers

WS won't wait - even for 18 connecting passengers

Old Nov 9, 18, 4:25 pm
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WS won't wait - even for 18 connecting passengers

Some friends were flying to Mexico today connecting in YYC. First flight of the day was late for whatever reason, left an hour late and arrived just about an hour late cutting layover from 1:06 to 8 minutes. 18 pax from the incoming flight missed the connection (incoming flight was in the As, connecting in the Ds). You'd think WS would wait for that number of connecting pax already on the ground rather than put them up overnight?
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Old Nov 9, 18, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Some friends were flying to Mexico today connecting in YYC. First flight of the day was late for whatever reason, left an hour late and arrived just about an hour late cutting layover from 1:06 to 8 minutes. 18 pax from the incoming flight missed the connection (incoming flight was in the As, connecting in the Ds). You'd think WS would wait for that number of connecting pax already on the ground rather than put them up overnight?
Eight minutes to connect is not possible, given that the outbound flight would close somewhere around 15 minutes prior to departure. Beyond that, yes, it may very well cost less to put those people up overnight than to run that aircraft delayed for the rest of the day.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 4:44 pm
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I'm sure it met MCTs but I would never book a connection that short when the second flight is a long once-a-day kind of flight. The risk is too high. I know that the airline is obliged to take care of in transit passengers, but the passengers still miss out on part of their trip.

I imagine that there are many variables that help determine whether a flight will wait for connecting passengers. Knock on effects on the schedule, crew timing out, gate space, curfews at destination airports, IT systems advanced enough to tell the right people that the missing passengers are on a late connection, grumpy dispatchers, phase of the moon, goat entrails, etc.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 4:47 pm
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Brutal. I feel for them. Losing a whole day of vacation and being stuck in an airport hotel for 24 hours and shortened a presumably 7 day all inclusive down to 6. Good question, why didn't they wait? What city was the original delayed flight from?
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Old Nov 9, 18, 6:26 pm
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Incoming flight originated from YYJ which is the first flight of the day (0600 scheduled departure) to YYC so presumably the a/c was there over night. I don't think it was possible to have booked anything else to ZIH, the destination w/o an overnight layover. It was raining this morning but nothing unusual (maybe there was fog/heavy rain up there - climate is rather different from where I am though only 27 km away). The DL regional flight scheduled to leave 15 mins earlier left (and arrived) ahead of schedule as did the later (AS) QX flight.

Only reason I can see is that the same crew flies to ZIH and back (~2,400 miles each way so 4.5-5 hrs each way + 50 mins ground time in ZIH) so they'd be out of time?

As far as I can tell, the a/c to ZIH didn't come in from anywhere else that morning, and returns to YYC for the night. And not as if anyone at the other end has a connection at least on WS.

As for me, I just booked a WS itinerary to connect to an AF flight that only runs 2x weekly. Giving myself a 23-24 h layover in LAX just in case.......

Last edited by YVR Cockroach; Nov 9, 18 at 6:51 pm
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Old Nov 9, 18, 6:35 pm
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5 years ago WestJet would have waited. Back then it was the worst airline (of those with $1 billion revenue or higher) in North America for on-time performance.

When I worked there I was aware of the data analysis of one particular flight in late 2012 that was held for 20 mins around 10am in the morning. The flight was analysed to see what would happen to connecting guests and those that would fly later on that aircraft. By the end of the day almost 900 guests were late due to that decision to hold for 20 mins. Since then WestJet has worked hard to bring on-time performance up to a decent level, some months over the past 2 years being the most on-time in North America. You may still see flights held near the end of the day, but the effect of holding a flight earlier in the day can be brutal on the whole network.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 9:30 pm
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I have seen first hand WJ early morning departures are ruthlessly pushed out on time and sometimes 10 mins early. They even board T-45 min some days. When I show up at T-25, everyone is already on board. They don't want to wait. The downstream effect of a 20 min late departure on the first flight can have ripple effect on short haul flights when the aircraft flies 8 segments a day. Airlines don't have much on ground time these days to absorb delays and that is why one delay can ripple down stream. If they leave a bit more buffer between flights, they would be able to absorb a morning delay.
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Last edited by Sunny Day; Nov 10, 18 at 9:52 am
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Old Nov 9, 18, 10:02 pm
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Any number of options. Perhaps easier to re-accommodate house passengers on Aeromexico connecting in the US or Vancouver.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by aerobod View Post
5 years ago WestJet would have waited. Back then it was the worst airline (of those with $1 billion revenue or higher) in North America for on-time performance.

When I worked there I was aware of the data analysis of one particular flight in late 2012 that was held for 20 mins around 10am in the morning. The flight was analysed to see what would happen to connecting guests and those that would fly later on that aircraft. By the end of the day almost 900 guests were late due to that decision to hold for 20 mins. Since then WestJet has worked hard to bring on-time performance up to a decent level, some months over the past 2 years being the most on-time in North America. You may still see flights held near the end of the day, but the effect of holding a flight earlier in the day can be brutal on the whole network.
If a 20 minute delay is delaying 900+ pax flying relatively small 737s around at 81% load factor, WestJet is running its aircraft with too short turn times and too short sector times in an attempt to increase utilization and drive up profits (or lower losses). Alternatively increase the MCT especially for a somewhat sparse network with infrequent flights.
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Old Nov 10, 18, 12:51 am
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Originally Posted by winnipegrev View Post
If a 20 minute delay is delaying 900+ pax flying relatively small 737s around at 81% load factor, WestJet is running its aircraft with too short turn times and too short sector times in an attempt to increase utilization and drive up profits (or lower losses). Alternatively increase the MCT especially for a somewhat sparse network with infrequent flights.
The OTP 5 years ago was about 10% worse than now, for the past year WestJet has averaged 76.4% A15 (arrival within 15 mins of schedule, based on FlightStats data), Air Canada has averaged 68.0%. The disruption of almost 900 guests for holding an aircraft for 20 mins when OTP was in the sixties is not something that is likely to happen now because of this disruption and why the company has concentrated on departing on time, especially with head-start flights. WestJet though for 2017 managed an average daily utilization of 11.2 hours with an average of 4.07 turns per aircraft per day, compared with 10.4 hours and 3.95 turns per day for Air Canada, so better utilization and better OTP by WestJet.

The 0.8 hour utilization difference is worth about 2% lower CASM for the same aircraft operated in the same way, a significant portion of profit. This means WestJet has a more effective turn capability for the OTP performance it achieves, padding the turn times is not the answer, driving for OTP is more effective, especially from a cost competitiveness perspective.

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Old Nov 10, 18, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by aerobod View Post

The OTP 5 years ago was about 10% worse than now, for the past year WestJet has averaged 76.4% A15 (arrival within 15 mins of schedule, based on FlightStats data), Air Canada has averaged 68.0%. The disruption of almost 900 guests for holding an aircraft for 20 mins when OTP was in the sixties is not something that is likely to happen now because of this disruption and why the company has concentrated on departing on time, especially with head-start flights. WestJet though for 2017 managed an average daily utilization of 11.2 hours with an average of 4.07 turns per aircraft per day, compared with 10.4 hours and 3.95 turns per day for Air Canada, so better utilization and better OTP by WestJet.

The 0.8 hour utilization difference is worth about 2% lower CASM for the same aircraft operated in the same way, a significant portion of profit. This means WestJet has a more effective turn capability for the OTP performance it achieves, padding the turn times is not the answer, driving for OTP is more effective, especially from a cost competitiveness perspective.

On the other hand...... they left 18 passengers behind.
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Old Nov 10, 18, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
On the other hand...... they left 18 passengers behind.
But didnít strand a good portion of the likely 100 or so people on the ZIH -YYC flight not terminating in YYC who could be connecting on the 15 flights leaving YYC after 11pm to Kelowna, Abbotsford, Vancouver, Edmonton, Kamloops, Victoria, Saskatoon, Regina, Nanaimo, Comox, Fort St. John, Cranbrook, Fort McMurray & Grande Prairie.

Last edited by aerobod; Nov 10, 18 at 1:53 am
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Old Nov 12, 18, 11:05 am
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Data point: my son had a ~1:20 connection in YYZ late evening Nov 10, intl to domestic, so customs, security, etc. We knew it would be tight. Inbound was 17 minutes late, so he was resigned to a misconnect. He had to negotiate with someone to be allowed to sprint to the gate to at least try. The connection was 17 minutes late and he made it, barely. Bags didnít. We donít know if the flight was held or if it was delayed for some other reason and he got lucky. Maybe someone with EF could check: it was WS 725.
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