Aircraft Mechanical at (very) remote stations

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by timfrost, Apr 19, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    A friend and I came into BON yesterday evening on UA1402 with 737-700 N16732. When we drove to our first dive this morning the plane was still sitting there at 1030 despite being scheduled for UA1401 at 0730. (It was also still there at 1830 after our last dive of the day.) Out of morbid curiosity I checked online and yep - "Canceled Due to Aircraft Maintenance." Sure am glad it didn't break down while we were on it. When we

    UA only operates a few times a week to BON - all on Saturday. Two from IAH and one from EWR, and a lot of the year just the one from IAH. What happens to the passengers when you have a malfunction at a remote station like this? I sincerely doubt there are enough hotel rooms on the island to handle 100+ displaced passengers, even when you take into consideration a good portion of them are probably couples or traveling together.

    Any insight? Or anyone know what happened to these people today?
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Push as many to other carriers as possible. Get repair HW flown in ASAP, depending on the severity of the situation.

    ETA: Also, BON is remote but not really all that bad. Try a broken plane in KWA and you'll know what being stranded is really like. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
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  3. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Interesting. I wonder how successful they were. Must have been a busy day for InselAir getting people to AUA and CUR which I believe have more frequent service.
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Fly in a relief aircraft to pick up the stranded passengers.

    Air drop tents and MREs.
     
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  5. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Yes and no... I'm sure since we're in the busy Caribbean season that load factors for Curacao and Aruba were already high. United might have pushed them to OALs (Other Airlines), other United flights ex-Bonaire, or scheduled an extra section for the following day when they fix the aircraft. I wouldn't object to spending another day in Bonaire myself. ;)
     
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  6. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    They finally got the aircraft out of here this morning. Happy skies...!
     
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  7. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    In this situation, you were likely fortunate that you were ticketed on a major air carrier. We've had all kinds of interesting experiences flying to/from small Caribbean islands over the years. I recall being booked on a local (now defunct) airline (partnered with KLM) from AUA to CUR on the first flight out in the morning (~7:00 am) that was cancelled. We were then rebooked on the next "regularly scheduled" flight - 2 hours later, and given a chit for a free soft drink. This pattern repeated itself all day long (cue "Ground Hog Day" movie), until the "last flight" from AUA to CUR at ~9:00 pm. We later learned that the airline simply did not fly until they had a full airplane, and if it took all day to accomplish that, and you were booked on an earlier flight, tough luck.

    Or the time that we flew to from PLS to GDT, and while we were waiting on the tarmac for the airplane to board, we saw the trailer carrying all our luggage being driven away from out airplane. One of our fellow passengers, a local policeman it turned out, went ballistic and went into the terminal to have words with the airline staff. According to this fellow, as we were booked on a full flight, the airline did this all the time, and left the luggage behind for a later less crowded flight to carry onboard. We were able to retrieve our luggage from GDT airport about 8 hours or so after our arrival.

    When you travel in the Caribbean, you are definitely on "island time"! ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015

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