Why can't the airlines be honest about cancellations?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by violist, Apr 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

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    I was going to post in the US forum, but this really isn't
    US-specific.

    I was scheduled on 4118 from PHL to IPT this morning.
    It cancelled. The return, 4118 from IPT to PHL, which
    uses the same aircraft (there being 3 commercial
    flights daily to this airport and there not being any
    alternative), is still showing on time 70 minutes before
    departure.

    Edited to add - US does, it turns out, have an extra DH8
    on the ground at IPT.

    So why did it lie to ME about my flight being on time
    when I was at the RCC and cancelled as soon as I got
    to Terminal F? Just ranting.
     
  2. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Because for whatever reason they chose to cancel the flight sometime between when you left the RCC and got to the gate. It could have been mechanical or due to low capacity (there are only three flights a day? sounds like this is it). With more information about why the flight was cancelled, you might be able to get some compensation, but it's not clear what the issue was from your post.

    The return flight was still on-time because they pulled in another aircraft from IPT, which is not surprising. Spare aircraft exist for this exact reason, when the incoming craft won't show up as planned.

    The last time I flew US was three years ago, when they changed planes twice during my connection in CLT and changed gates four times, delaying our flight by over an hour as apparently they were giving our original planes to other flights. I haven't flown on them since.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Sometimes airlines are unsure whether the flight will cancel or not. In these cases, they don't admit there's a problem because if the flight does fly, they obviously want the aircraft to be as full as possible. They don't want their passengers to rebook, especially on nonpartner carriers, and they'd like to minimize calls to call centers or questions to ground staff.

    This can also explain the rolling delayed departure times. If folks know that the flight will be, for instance, five hours late, they will either demand to be rebooked or they will rebook themselves on other carriers. However, if they believe that the delay will be minimal, they will hang around and wait for their original flight.
     
  4. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

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    The reason there was a spare is because they had cancelled the early morning one out of there - generally there is a max of 1 commercial a/c in this place at one time. Neither of your given explanations of an airline's behavior is relevant here, see below. It's clear in this case that the PHL-IPT leg and the IPT-PHL leg could not both have shown on-time unless the airline was committed to flying a spare out of PHL (leading to an extra a/c in the boonies, something the airline doesn't want, but which a number of us - who ended up going to MDT and finding our way back on our own dime - were led to believe would happen). US could not have failed to know this at 1130, when I left for my gate, having checked on line immediately before doing so.


    Fairly surprising, as the only other aircraft that are in IPT (barring the morning cancellation) are a couple Cessnas and the occasional Halliburton charter.

    The only other way to get there is by private jet, something I can't afford.
     

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