Can I kvetch about delays due to late arriving crew?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by jfhscott, Aug 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I imagine reasonable minds will differ, but I'm not entirely pleased with UA today.

    I was on an ORD-DCA early this afternoon, and my parents, who seldom fly were on a later ORD-DCA flight (due to award ticket availability). I was delayed 30 minutes, and my parents 2 hours due to "late arriving crew".

    FWIW, I am a construction attorney by trade, and I generally (based on well established case law) view the risk of not having ample staffing to complete a task as being allocated to the contractor. Certain force majeure events may come to bear, but they are the exception, not the rule. Moreover, I would expect an airline to provide for late arriving crew, especially at a hub such as ORD, where they can absorb scheduling irregularities better.

    Of course, I am aware that the cost of precautions gets passed onto the consumer, one way or another.

    But on balance, I posit that the risk of a crew from a, say, SAN-ORD not arriving on time to serve their following ORD-DCA should be borne by the carrier, as the risk of scheduling attends to their means and methods of getting the job done.

    And, yes, I'm a smidge upset that this is getting visited upon my parents, who no longer roll with the punches as they once did.

    Am I being unreasonable?
     
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  2. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Have your parents arrived yet? I'm at DCA waiting on an inbound aircraft from ORD that was delayed there due to a late arriving crew. I'm headed out on that plane to IAH.

    It happens, even at the hubs. Unfortunately there really may not be enough spare crew available, or if there is, they may not be immediately available, so they can't just hop on the plane and operate the flight. And, changing crew can have long lasting effects down the line too with the schedule. There's a lot that goes into the decision. Maybe they could do better, maybe they can't. We really don't have the information or knowledge here of how it's done to really say for sure.

    But, yes, it is quite frustrating when it happens.
     
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  3. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Yes, well, it also happens on all airlines. I was delayed in LPL last December on KLM due to crew rest, then misconnected (barely) in AMS, and had to re-route through CDG on Xmas Eve. Fun times.
     
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  4. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Seems thay got in around 6:55, on UA 1585.
     
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  5. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I suppose the question is the extent to which previous events, in some far away city, should be visited upon the passenger or upon the airline which controls their crews schedules.

    My initial reaction, as a construction industry attorney who pays attention to the financial impact of project delay, is that the party who schedules generally bears the risk of the schedule going awry.
     
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  6. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Yep. That was the plane I've been waiting for.
     
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  7. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Amazing how we've had several MP members associated with one event today...

    To be honest if the OP wants to kvetch then by all means, if it's weather then just chalk it up to bad luck, and if it's a Black Cloud situation just chalk it up to bad scheduling on their part ;).
     
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  8. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I agree with the OP, having recently dealt with a 4-hour delay for a similar reason. However, I believe part of the problem United is having is that without labor agreements, they have been unable to combine crew to work on pmCO and pmUA aircraft. Many of each company's aircraft have been moving in to different markets. For example, 737-800 and -900 models now operate SEA-SFO and SEA-DEN routes. If you have a Continental plane and a United pilot on reserve, those two don't match.
     
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  9. thetravelanalyst

    thetravelanalyst Silver Member

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    To play Devil's advocate; I'd posit that unforeseen events such as late arriving crew are implicitly accepted by the passenger who purchases a ticket. I'm not aware of anything in the Terms and Conditions that promises flights will leave on time. Airlines have a significant interest in insuring they don't promise more than what is legally required.

    Reputationally speaking, however, I think airlines should do a great deal to keep passengers happy and to make things easier when passengers are inconvenienced.
     
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The best you will be able to get out of this, if anything, is an e-CERT of appreciation for your patience and endurance...
     
  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Kvetching here is a good release of emotions; we all have been there, some of us quite frequently. Unreasonable; certainly not. Realistic; equally not.
     
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  12. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I'm not even certain I care to bring this up with UA. I just tend to think that, in general, an airline should have the capacity (equipment and personnel) to be on time. And when I'm in ORD on a good weather day, and the equipment is working, the fact that the crew they scheduled for my trip is still in MCI, PDX, or wherever, tells me that they have not made sufficient contingency plans. I just don't know I want to be paying for "sufficient" contingency plans when UA passes the cost thereof to me.
     
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  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I, for one, see your point. Whether it is not-yet-really-merged-crews or something else it normally causes more irritation to try to complain with some carriers. I no longer complain about the horrible connections with BA, for example, because they don't answer me anyway and are contemptuous of the very idea that my view is worthy anyway. Similar issues at UA, especially with known ORD issues, seem inevitable if not justified. Possibly I'm just getting too tired to complain.
     
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  14. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Fwiw, when I misconnected in AMS, they gave me a €15 food voucher, a phone call voucher, and a €50 voucher off a future trip (that I haven't figured out a way to use). I had a really nice smoked fish lunch.
     
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  15. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    This issue should be helped once they have fully combined the workforces. Until that happens, if such a delay happens at what is primarily a sUA hub with a sCO aircraft (or vice versa), there are far fewer resources available for changing around crews and getting things back on schedule more quickly. That's exactly what happened yesterday with the flights the OP, the OP's parents, and myself were all affected by. It was a sCO aircraft, sCO crew, and sUA hub (ORD).
     
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  16. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    While this is true why should I care as a customer. If they were not ready to merge then they should have not merged. From the customer perspective there is only one company. I really don't care about United internal organization and work limitation. That is United problem to solve not mine as the customer. If this really the problem then by all means double or triple your reserve at a hub.
     
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  17. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    Mine was the other way around sort of. DCA-ORD-SBN on Fri. The DCA-ORD flight was delayed bc of who knows what. My saving grace was that the ORD-SBN crew was late so my rj was sitting waiting for me.
     

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