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here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Chiang Khong...
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here's another reason your flight might be delayed

HI

Entitled celebrities or those that think they should be.

…todayshow.com/_news/…

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Jerk. I've had to go back to the gate because a passenger flipped out and demanded to be let off, and it causes a huge delay (getting a gate, removing luggage, etc.).

Bangkok
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2. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Hi,

Sadly, happens all the time..

While I am not an overt advocate of increased governmental regulations for the sake of regualtions, I do think that if a more consistent and reliable pattern of fines-- not necessarily jail time, but hurt you "in your pocketbook" fines-- we'd see less of this.. The fines shouldn't go the carriers, that's a recipe for disaster, but should be administratively adjudicated, but to make it known that there are real consequence for this type of non-complaint behavior and to reflect the amount of disruption it creates..

I will tell folks about my own worst case, we had the same type of thing.. a RTBL or Return To BLocks.. due to a non-complaint passenger.. We were delayed to weather at our US departure point to Asia.. Once we finally were cleared to leave we pushed back but one lone passenger wouldn't turn off his laptop.. he insisted that we allow him to finish his email (despite being told some :05 earlier that we were getting ready for push-back and to power down)..

So, after being asked by three different crew members, the flight deck was notified. We taxied back to the gate and the main cabin door was re-opened to let the airport police on to remove the passenger..

However, most people don't know that by re-opening the cabin door, this triggered what is known as a RTBL, or Return To BLocks.. when this happens it re-sets the crews duty legality time.. and while we waited for the airport law enforcement to address the issue and remove the offending passenger, the crew went illegal due to insufficient flight hours remaining on the current 'day'.

So.. now on top of an initial weather-delayed departure, it had morphed into a total one-day delay/cancellation to top it off.. and since the cancellation was due to passenger instigated security issue (as well as weather issues) the airport management made the decision not to pay for any hotels or overnight expenses except for the rare case.

I will say that after being told this by ground staff, as passengers deplaned a great many were yelling, cursing and wanting to exact a "pound of flesh" from the passenger who was removed and was still in the immediate gate area, being questioned by the airport police.

Ugly.

Travel Safe,

Mesa, Arizona
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3. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Could the RTBL delay and associated weather delays conceivably mean the pilot/co-pilot would go over their flight time allotment for the day. Granted they are not actually in the air.......if that happened they'd have to get a new crew. In that case if the delay is too long, could they ultimately cancel flight.

I remember a flight delay at JFK years ago at Christmas - snow, US Airways, 5 hour delay but to someone's credit the flight finally took off. Was supposed to arr PHX 8pm-ish...FInally arrived 1:30am +1.

Bangkok
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4. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Hi,

"Could the RTBL delay and associated weather delays conceivably mean the pilot/co-pilot would go over their flight time allotment for the day"

Yes... the duty day legality is a complex formula.. it uses forward-looking times and well as a 'look-back' period as well.. but in both cases, the duty time limitations have two parts.. a total duty day and an in-flight time day..

Flight time is just that.. total time spent in wheels-up status.. and for the most part impacts the flight deck personnel.. Total duty day is comprised of flight time *plus* all other time that the crew is required to be 'on duty'..

Examples of things that happen, and are counted in that duty time, is the pre-flight crew briefing, printing and finalizing flight plans, walking to the aircraft and passing security, crew check-in and aircraft walk-around.. essentially it is *everything* that the carrier requires as a part of the flight process, but not the time actually spent in the air..

If you exceed either number, you've gone illegal and must now have the FAA mandated minimum rest period..

So what the airlines Systems Operations Control, (SOC) is watching- very carefully- is what is the planned flight time (to include taxi in and taxi out time) *AND* how much of the crew excess duty day time has now been 'eaten' up by the delay..

The SOC will call both the ground personnel as well as the flight deck and tell us all the 'drop dead' times.. or the times that we MUST; a) have the door closed *and* the brakes released [a brake release formally starts the departure time] and b) the latest time we can be wheels-up...

If we miss either time, even by one single minute, we are now illegal and cannot fly.. To do so is a gross violation of FAA rules and is not a waive-able condition by either airline or crew.

Another issue that impacts minimum rest is that it is calculated from the time time crew arrives *at* the hotel and their rooms are made available to them.. This is why sometimes you see the crew get pulled off the aircraft quickly and whisked away... the airline is doing this to get the rest "clock" started ASAP.

If this whole nightmare happens in a hub city, you have a reasonable chance of finding a replacement set of crew.. but.. in the case of long-haul or ultra long-haul routes, you generally need to find a crew that has not flown on that day or in the past day (remembering that there is both a look-forward and look-back number).. and in the case of fight deck, they also need to be certified for that aircraft type.

In some cases the airline makes the financial decision to cancel (until tomorrow) versus calling in new crew and paying premium rates or disrupting other flights.. so lesser of two evils.

Travel Safe,

Mesa, Arizona
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5. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Another Q slightly off THIS topic. When a flight duration is quoted on the schedule. It that from the time the plane pushes away from the gate to wheels down at the arrival airport.

i.e. the flight time JFK-BOS is about 1h 20m but in truth its about 55 minutes.

Bangkok
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6. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Hi,

Yes.. Normally in public schedules the "departure" time is the time the cabin door is closed and the brakes are released.. "Arrival" time is usually the time that the first gears (wheels) contact the ground.. So, it does *not* include taxi times.. Some airlines do use total time, but most don't.. In part because of how the DOT calculates arrival and departure on-time rates..

The DOT considers you 'departed' once the brakes are off.. despite the fact that you can remain at the gate or on the ground for a long while..

On the other end, the DOT calls you "arrived" based on the time the aircraft records the gears as making first contact with the runway... and as we know some airports have long taxi ways or have ramp traffic issues.. It's this taxi time that is not built into flight time, but IS built into BLOCK time.

What insiders like employees use is the term 'block to block' time.. that is the time from the cabin door closing and the brakes off, to the time the aircraft arrives at the destination *and* the brakes are re-set and the cabin door opened..

This, is the more accurate number.. and most airlines know this number.. it's not a state secret.. So, I always ask "what's the block time?" meaning what time are we projected to arrive *and* have the cabin door open..

So, in your BOS-JFK example, that 'extra' :25 minutes is the time from the moment the brakes are released at the gate, to the moment the wheels are off the ground in BOS.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 03 December 2010, 22:30
Nannup, Australia
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7. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Who's Josh Duhamel?????? Never heard of him......

Presho, South Dakota
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8. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

He played in the TV series "Las Vegas" a couple years ago.

What a jerk!

Bangkok
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9. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

Hi,

Ohh. I remember THAT show.. Nikki Cox and Vanessa Marcil.. I don't remember any of the guys in it, but that's a separate story. :)

Travel Safe,

Nannup, Australia
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10. Re: here's another reason your flight might be delayed

I don't know if 'Las Vegas' showed on TV in Australia, but if it did I didn't see it. But then I never saw an episode of Dallas or Dynasty either - nor Neighbours. I don't understand this whole 'celebrity' thing - an actor's principal claim to fame is an ability to pretend to be someone else......